"I didn't want to prolong it and waste people's time."
Paul George finally had an opportunity to return home to California this summer and team up with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers, a move that he'd been considering since his time with the Indiana Pacers. However, George, who grew up in Palmdale and played his college ball at Fresno State, never even gave the Lakers a chance to pitch him on the idea before he re-signed with the Thunder.
"L.A. was pissed at me," he said on the Short Story Long podcast. "I didn't give Magic [Johnson] a meeting, which I understand. But at that point, I knew I wanted to give it another shot [in Oklahoma City]. I didn't want to prolong it and waste people's time."
"Coming down to free agency, I didn't want to waste any time," George said on the podcast. "I wanted to give it another shot. I gave them one year. We played well against the best teams. I wanted to give it a real shot."
The 28-year old All-Star forward ultimately signed a four-year $137 million deal to stay with the Thunder. In his first season in OKC, George averaged 21.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game as the Thunder finished fourth in the Western Conference - though they were bounced by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
George and the Thunder will be in action on the NBA's opening night on October 16, as they travel to Oracle Arena for a matchup against the defending champs.